Mother, grandmother, family and school counsellor
So your teen has started taking an interest in the opposite sex and you are worried about how to deal with it, right? Here's some help!
Dreamy, glazed looks, lost in thought, butterflies in the stomach.....whoa, the 'crush' bug has struck...and how. Goodbye kiddo, hello life! Yes, your little one is growing up, whether you like it or not. Welcome to the world of teens. The process of self-discovery has begun and there is no stopping it. It must run its natural course and play its part in the drama of life. The crush bug is relentless in its pursuit, stalking the unexpected, aiming its cupid's arrow at the most unsuspecting victim, sometimes subtle and sometimes dramatic; unnerving but ever so exciting.
So what exactly is a 'CRUSH'? The onset of puberty is the precursor to a series of bio-psycho-social-intellectual changes. A crush or infatuation is that first flush of a strange new feeling, undefined and inexplicable. It is nature's way of telling us that all is well with the natural processes of growing up. The new uncertain feelings are part of the grand scheme of physical and emotional changes in early adolescence. Primary among them is the gradual awareness of an interest in the opposite sex, and that cannot be a bad thing, since we ultimately want our children to enter into long-lasting relationships as adults in the future.
A crush is typically a one-way feeling, very private and intense. Crushes are entertained and enjoyed in the privacy of the mind. The other person is mostly unaware that someone is feeling attracted to him. But guilt plays spoilsport, all because of the established norms of social behavior that do not always favor teen crushes.
The safest thing about a crush is that it is usually short-lived, and this is precisely why we need not worry about it. Till the next one occurs! However, things can get complicated and confusing when teens discover that they can feel attracted to different people at the same time! Now we are talking about multiple crushes!!
Is it time to hit the panic button? Not at all, because teens are simply starting to understand and acknowledge different attributes and characteristics of people. Usually, the attraction to each person is for a different reason. Teens are also testing their masculine and feminine social roles. They will define themselves and their world through their social roles. The crucial journey of discovery, of the self and the others, has just begun.
Some teens tend to discuss their crushes freely among peers and this could lead to teasing and pairing up of individuals. They may begin to believe that they are 'in love', but it's actually a harmless crush. But when a crush turns into an obsession the teen may be filled with unreal expectations, resulting in disappointment and 'heartbreak'.
How parents react:
So, there you have it. Your teen will most likely have not one, but many crushes, like it or not. The best that you can do is to understand, be watchful, and worry less about the crushes. After all, they are transient and mostly harmless.